Arthur Penhaligon has battled, snuck, fled, been chased, been carried, and fought his way through six levels of the House on his quest as the Heir to find and carry out the Will of the Architect. As a necessary byproduct of his quest, he’s forfeited his humanity along the way. This isn’t the normal “I’m not the same person I started as,” thing. He is literally no longer human. He’s given that up, along with seeing friends and family fall, because he believes that that’s the only way to stop the tide of Nothing that’s steadily destroying the House, and from there what we know as the world.
But everything that’s been sacrificed might not be enough, now that he’s fallen from the Incomparable Gardens.
I started this series because Kemendraugh (points accusingly to Kemendraugh) handed me the book and said read. And I am nothing if not obedient (okay I was obedient that day,) and so I read! I was so far into being obedient and not really looking at the book, that I thought it was a.) written 50 years ago, and b.) I had no idea who wrote the series. I only put “Garth Nix” together with “The Guy Who Wrote Those Sabriel Books” after reading Superior Saturday.
Yes, I am so observant.
ANYHOW, once I put those together, I was all going OOOOOOO, of COURSE! *headdesks repeatedly* Nixian trademarks are all over. Like, say;
- The military not necessarily being the bad guys.
- (How often does that happen in YA?)
- The power of words, and more specifically of writing.
- The physical and mental transformation of characters in the pursuit of something necessary.
- (And not necessarily in ways they would have liked.)
- The awesomeness of minor characters, who then die.
- Flawed and possibly dangerous characters who you’re forced to trust.
- Fighting against impossible odds
- (Maybe winning, maybe not.)
- The necessity and cost of the fight.
- (Which is one of the reasons these books feel so old to me. It’s not really a modern sentiment.)
I thought it was very well done, and a very inexorable, satisfying ending to the series. I didn’t really emotionally connect with the characters, (other than Leaf,) but I would still like to look into possessing this series for myself, and I’d recommend it, for SURE. I gave it three stars out of five.